How Long Does Honeydew Melon Last and How To Tell If It’s Bad?

You’ve bought your first honeydew at the grocery store, and now you’re thinking about its shelf life. How long does honeydew melon last?

Or you’re not sure if you can leave it on the counter, or should you put it in the fridge.

Sounds familiar? If it does, you’ll find this article both interesting and useful. In it, we talk about:

  • shelf life and storage of whole honeydews, and whether you need to refrigerate them or not
  • what to do with a cut honeydew
  • telling if yours is still okay to eat or not

Interested? Let’s go.

Whole honeydew melon

How Long Does Honeydew Melon Last?

Whole honeydew melon keeps quality for about a week on the counter and two to three weeks in the fridge. Leftover cuts and slices of honeydew last up to five days.

Like watermelons (and other fruits), honeydews retain quality much longer if you store them in the fridge than if they sit at room temperature. Nevertheless, they keep quite well on the counter, so that’s my go-to place for them. Unless, of course, I need them to last like two weeks.

For leftovers, they keep for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge. And as always with leftover fruit, the sooner you eat them, the better they taste.

Honeydew ready for eating
Honeydew ready for eating

If you’re buying honeydews knowing they will have to last quite some time in storage, choose ones that:

  • feel heavy for their size
  • are without blemishes, brown spots, or any other injuries
  • are uniform in color (greenish to yellow)
CounterFridge
Honeydew melon (whole)1 week2 – 3 weeks
Honeydew melon (cut)4 – 5 days

Please note the periods in the table above are only estimates.

Honeydew: brown spots
Honeydew brown spots – avoid these when buying

How To Store Honeydew Melon

You can store honeydew melons either on the counter or in the fridge. The latter is a better choice if you need them to last the longest. When it comes to cut honeydew, seal it tightly and put it in the refrigerator.

The optimal temperature for these melons is 45°F (7°C) ([OSU]), so a bit higher than what’s in your fridge. Because of that, your refrigerator is the best option, especially for prolonged storage.

If you know that you’re going to eat the honeydew within a couple of days of buying it, leaving it on the counter is okay (that’s what I do). That’s because they are quite bulky and take a lot of space in the fridge.

Honeydew half in a freezer bag
Honeydew half in a freezer bag
Tip

There’s no need for any plastic bags or anything for storing whole honeydew melon. Just chuck it in the fridge, possibly near the door where it’s a bit warmer, and that’s it.

When it comes to leftovers, they should sit in the fridge ([SDSU]) where they stay safe.

For storage, I use freezer bags and airtight containers. The former are great if you need to store a half or a quarter of a melon, while the latter work well for slices and cubes.

Honeydew cubes in a container
Honeydew cubes in a container

How To Tell If Honeydew Melon Is Bad?

Throw out honeydew melons that:

  • Feel light or hollow. That means they’ve lost most of their water and are be no good at this point.
  • Have large bruises or damaged areas. As usual, you can cut off a few smaller ones, but if the decayed part is like a third of the fruit, it’s probably time to let it go.
  • Are cut and sit in the fridge for more than five days. At that point, they might still be safe to eat, but you never know. Better safe than sorry.
  • Smell or taste off. Honeydews that sit in storage for prolonged periods soften and lose flavor. If yours doesn’t taste fresh and sweet, discard it. There’s no point in eating stale or tasteless fruit.
Honeydew: brown spot on the rind
Honeydew: brown spot on the rind – cut those out

As you can tell, some of the points above are up to you to judge.

One piece of advice I can give is: go with your gut. If that somewhat older honeydew still looks and smells pretty tasty, go for it. But if it’s already off-putting, accept your losses and get rid of it.

That works the same way for other melons, such as cantaloupe or watermelon. Or pretty much any fruit.

Finally, honeydew melons last a bit longer and keep quality a bit better than other melons. Therefore, chances are that week-old honeydew in the fruit basket will still taste quite good.

Honeydew slices
Honeydew slices

Sources